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21st Oct, 2021

Staff absences and isolations prompt Bromsgrove District Council to suspend its garden waste collections

STAFF isolating and absences due to the physical nature of waste collection work has led to Bromsgrove District Council suspending its garden waste service on hold.

The postponement for four weeks from next Tuesday, October 12, will ensure the continuation of domestic waste and recycling services.

The authority said although the vaccination programme had ‘provided resilience for crews’, collections were still facing disruption.

Crews who would normally deliver the garden waste services will help maintain staffing levels for grey and green collections to ensure continuity in these priority services.

As well as the garden waste suspension, the Environmental Services Department will be recruiting additional staff and arranging for additional agency staff to ensure the reinstatement of the garden waste service. This will reduce the risk of future disruption and ensure adequate staffing to maintain the service throughout the winter.

The garden waste service will be extended through December so all 20 of the paid-for collections will be honoured. The council will be writing to all garden waste customers shortly to advise of the details of the postponement.

Bromsgrove Distrcit Council leader, Coun Karen May, said: “It is not a decision we have taken lightly, and we are not alone in having to make this call.

“The resilience of waste collection services up and down the country are challenged every day and many of our colleagues in other authorities have also had to make these difficult decisions.

“Since the first lockdown, our staff have continued to work hard and ensure that our vital waste collection services have run with little or no disruption and for that we are truly grateful. We are also thankful for the support and understanding residents have given the teams throughout this difficult period.

“We are genuinely sorry to have to ask for your patience again, but this minor postponement will benefit all of our residents in the longer term, as well as ensuring the wellbeing of our staff.”

Head of Environmental Services, Guy Revans, said: “We have explored all possible options to avoid this situation and the inconvenience it causes our customers.

“Unfortunately, we have reached a stage where the service is at high risk of failure, and we need to make significant changes to ensure the resilience of our core services whilst recognising the challenges our front-line teams face in delivering essential services.”

The council will continue to keep the website and social media pages updated regarding the status of the services, and although no further disruption is expected after this date, residents are advised to check prior to putting bins out.

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